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1 Queen Marie Antoinette

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As queen of France, Marie Antoinette became a baton of appearance – but as a 14-year-old Austrian archduchess she committed a appearance faux pas on the day she affiliated the approaching King Louis XVI in the aristocratic abbey at the Palace of Versailles in 1770.

Strict agreement absolute bells accoutrements for the helpmate of a French beneficiary to the throne: a cloth-of-silver dress. Unfortunately, the bride’s growing anatomy was not taken into annual aback the dress was advised and so the consistent bodice was too small, acceptation that Marie Antoinette’s associates were clumsy to adhere the aback of the gown. According to Elizabeth Seymour Percy, Amazon of Northumberland, there was “quite a ample band of lacing and about-face absolutely visible, which had a bad aftereffect amid two broader stripes of chunk [the closing of which were a allowance from Marie Antoinette’s mother, Empress Maria Theresa of the Habsburg Empire].”

In accession to the billowing dress, Marie Antoinette’s approaching beautician Léonard Autié advised the bride’s strawberry-blonde beard “badly arranged” for the occasion. The comment, accounting in his journal, may accept reflected his animosity with the beautician Sieur Larsenneur, who styled Marie Antoinette’s beard on the day of her bells in a low, delicate upsweep adorned with adorning gems. Léonard autonomous for added busy hairstyles for Marie Antoinette aback he afterwards became her hairdresser.

Despite the appearance faux pas on her bells day, queen Marie Antoinette adherent abundant efforts to her accessible image. Her milliner (hatter) Rose Bertin and beautician Léonard became accepted as the queen’s ‘Ministers of Fashion’, ambience precedents for approaching celebrity stylists. But Marie Antoinette’s acceptability for absurdity (as able-bodied as her Austrian origins) contributed to her unpopularity. The French Revolution bankrupt out in 1789; the French absolution was baffled in 1792; and Marie Antoinette was accomplished by decollate in 1793, a few months afterwards her husband.

2 Queen Victoria

When Queen Victoria’s mother, Angel Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, affiliated King George III’s fourth son – Prince Edward, Battle of Kent and Strathearn – in 1818, she was dressed in an busy cloth-of-gold gown. This followed the attitude of Hanoverian brides, who wore cloister dress or aristocratic apparel on their bells day. And aback Queen Victoria’s accessory Angel Charlotte affiliated the approaching Leopold I of Belgium on 2 May 1816, the helpmate wore a bright ensemble of “silver absolutist on net, over a argent tissue slip, abstract at the basal with argent absolutist in shells and flowers”. The dress, which is the ancient British aristocratic bells clothes that survives to this day, additionally boasted “manteaux [a apart sleeveless blind or shawl]… of argent tissue lined with white satin, with a bound of adornment to acknowledgment that on the dress.”

But in 1840, for her bells to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in St James’s Palace, the adolescent Queen Victoria ancient from Hanoverian cloister attitude by cutting a analogously simple bells dress of white cottony glassy akin with applique and orange blossoms. Victoria declared her dress and jewels in her journal: “I wore a white glassy dress, with a abysmal camp of Honiton lace, an apery of an old design. My jewels were my Turkish architecture chaplet & earrings & baby Albert’s admirable azure brooch.”

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Technically, Queen Victoria was not the aboriginal aristocratic helpmate to opt for white – Mary, Queen of Scots wore white on her aboriginal bells day (when she affiliated the approaching King Francois II of France, in 1558). Queen Victoria’s best of bells dress, however, captured the accepted acuteness and aggressive added brides to accept white bells dresses – a trend that continues today.

In her best of dress, Victoria was agog to advance British industry and accomplishment during a aeon aback English cottony and lace-making were experiencing a aeon of decline. The cottony glassy was alloyed in Spitalfields, East London, and the applique came from Honiton and Beer in Devon. Victoria admired her bells applique and wore it on important occasions for the blow of her reign, including her Architecture Jubilee in 1897.

While Queen Victoria’s dress set a new trend, Victoria herself capital to be a accepted helpmate by demography the aforementioned vows as added women of her time. It was asked whether she capital to vow to obey Prince Albert and to this Victoria answered yes, because she capital to be affiliated as a a woman, not as queen.

Modern aristocratic brides abide to chase Victoria in showcasing British industry in their best of bells accoutrements – including Catherine Middleton, who wore a dress advised by Sarah Burton for the British appearance abode Alexander McQueen aback she affiliated Prince William on 29 April 2011. A account appear by Buckingham Palace anon afterwards the bells read: “Miss Middleton chose British cast Alexander McQueen for the adorableness of its adroitness and its account for acceptable ability and the abstruse architecture of clothing.” The applique appliqué for the bodice and brim was hand-made by the Aristocratic School of Needlework, based at Hampton Cloister Palace, and the applique architecture was hand-engineered application the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s.

3 Queen Maud of Norway

When Angel Maud of Wales (granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the youngest babe of the approaching King Edward VII) affiliated Prince Charles of Denmark (later King Haakon VII of Norway) on 22 July 1896, she chose a analogously simple bells dress that did not absorb lace. A account women’s annual of the time explained to readers: “The bells gown, fabricated in Spitalfields, is of authentic white English satin, with a continued alternation cut in one with the skirt, and akin in one bend with a abounding bow of mousseline de soie and orange blossoms; a ruche of chiffon and flowers borders the brim hem at the advanced and sides.” But Maud accustomed the attitude for Honiton applique (set by Queen Victoria) by cutting her mother’s Honiton applique bells veil. As aristocratic biographer Theo Aronson (1929–2003) afterwards observed: “Princess Maud, acknowledgment to her mother’s certain taste, was appreciably bigger dressed than best aristocratic brides.”

Maud’s accouterment [the clothes, linen and added accouterments calm by a helpmate for her marriage] reflected her claimed interests, decidedly her adulation of cycling, benumbed and skiing (which she took up in Norway). Hertrousseau included benumbed habits and hats, and, according to a appearance annual of the time, “A cycling-gown, which is the actual archetypal of able smartness, is of tan t lined with a ablaze cottony serge and faced with advertisement linen collar and lapels”. The accouterment additionally included “for yachting, a airy little dejected serge frock”.

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Maud was not the alone granddaughter of Queen Victoria who autonomous to absolute the bulk of applique in her bells ensemble. Aback Angel Marie of Edinburgh affiliated the approaching Ferdinand I of Romania in 1893, she eschewed the acceptable Honiton applique blind beat by British aristocratic brides and chose instead a tulle blind to accompany a bells dress alleged by her mother. Afterwards in life, as queen of Romania, Marie developed a different faculty of style, accumulation adventurous interpretations of acceptable folk costumes.

The artlessness of Maud’s clothes has been an afflatus for consecutive aristocratic brides. Aback Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, the accepted acme angel of Norway, affiliated Acme Prince Haakon in 2001, she wore a cottony ache dress with continued sleeves, a corset waist and a two-metre train. The designer, Ove Harder Finseth, is said to accept been afflicted by Maud’s bells dress.


4 Angel Irina of Russia

Imperial Russian bells dresses commonly beat by admirable duchesses were so abundant that the helpmate generally begin it difficult to move at the ceremony. Tsar Nicholas II’s accessory Admirable Amazon Marie Pavlovna recalled cutting “a clothes of argent t so blubbery that it seemed to be fabricated of cardboard” aback she affiliated Prince Wilhelm of Sweden in 1908.

When Nicholas’s niece Angel Irina Alexandrovna affiliated Prince Felix Yusupov – one of the wealthiest men in Russia – at the Anichkov Palace in 1914, she absitively not to abrasion a cloister dress and instead fabricated her own best of bells attire. Felix wrote in his memoirs: “Irina’s bells dress was magnificent; it was of white glassy abstract in silver, with a continued train.” Irina’s veil, captivated in abode by a adornment of bedrock clear and diamonds, already belonged to Marie Antoinette. The automated appearance of Irina’s bells dress afflicted approaching bells dresses appropriate into the 1920s.

In accession to the another dress, the bells of Irina and Felix featured an anarchistic bells allowance as well. Aback Tsar Nicholas II (along with his wife, Empress Alexandra) asked Felix what he would like as a bells present, the benedict requested the advantage of sitting in the Imperial box at the theatre. According to Felix, “Nicholas II blithely agreed”. But the affable affinity amid Felix and the Tsarwas not to last. It came to an brusque end aback Felix (along with the Tsar’s accessory Admirable Battle Dmitri Pavlovich) organised the annihilation of Empress Alexandra’s abstruse and acceptance healer Rasputin at the Yusupov Palace (also accepted as the Moika Palace) in 1916 because they were anxious about Rasputin’s access over the Imperial family.

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Felix and Irina survived the Russian Revolution that followed and fled to the Crimea. The brace eventually acclimatized in Paris, active there from 1920 until their deaths (Felix died in 1967 and Irina followed in 1970).

5 Mary, Angel Aristocratic and Countess of Harewood

Princess Mary, the alone babe of King George V and Queen Mary, affiliated Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, at Westminster Abbey in 1922. The princess’s accommodation to ally an Englishman rather than a adopted prince was acutely popular. Mary’s brother Albert (the approaching King George VI) wrote to their earlier brother David (the approaching King Edward VIII): “Mary’s bells is causing a abundant accord of assignment to abounding bodies & as far as I can accomplish out the 28th is activity to be a day of civic amusement in every believable and unconceivable manner… In actuality it is now no best Mary’s wedding, but (this from the paper) it is the ‘Abbey Wedding’ or the ‘Royal Wedding’ or the ‘National Wedding’ or alike ‘The People’s Wedding’ (I accept heard it called) ‘of our admired princess.’”

Princess Mary’s bells dress architecture was appear to the press, acceptance the accessible to appraise in detail the abstracts and appearance called by the princess. While antecedent aristocratic brides had honoured England and sometimes Wales, Scotland and Ireland in their bells dress motifs, Mary was the aboriginal aristocratic helpmate to pay accolade to the British Empire and Dominions: the adornment of her dress reflected the contributions of these regions to the Allied account during the Aboriginal Apple War. The Associated Columnist reported: “Princess Mary’s bells clothes is to be of t of argent of arresting design. The actual was bought by the Queen from India some years ago and is declared as a celebration of built-in manufacturing.” The hand-woven ivory cottony alternation sourced from Es was abstract with floral syms from the Empire and Dominions including the maple from Canada, the lotus from India, the arrangement from Australia and the bracken from New Zealand.

When Meghan Markle affiliated Prince Harry in May 2018, she honoured the Commonwealth with the floral motifs abstract on her blind – these included the bunchberry from Canada, the kowhai from New Zealand, and, like Angel Mary, the lotus from India and the arrangement from Australia.

6 Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (better accepted as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) was one of the bridesmaids at the bells of Angel Mary, and, like her sister-in-law, she too chose to add claimed touches to her bells clothes aback she affiliated the Battle of York (the approaching King George VI) in 1923 at Westminster Abbey.

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Elizabeth’s short-sleeved ivory chiffon moire (silk) bells dress reflected the appearance trends of the aboriginal 1920s, artful the alone waist and abounding contour popularised by the French appearance artist Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. The dress boasted two trains – one absorbed at the hips; the added at the shoulders. The veil, loaned to the helpmate by her approaching mother-in-law, Queen Mary, was fabricated of Flanders lace. Elizabeth was admiring with her bells ensemble, acquainted in her account that “it looked lovely.”

Three added audible characteristics of Elizabeth’s bells clothes admiring accepted attention. First, the dress included a band of Brussels Applique beat by one of the bride’s Scottish ancestors at a brawl for Charles Edward Stuart, the Bonnie Prince Charlie (who in 1745 had challenged the groom’s ancestor, King George II, for the British throne). Elizabeth additionally congenital bounce blooming tulle into the accents on her own dress and those of her bridesmaids, bidding a announcer of the time to observe: “In the accent the helpmate has defied all old superstitions about the unluckiness of green.” Elizabeth’s dress additionally congenital a argent and rose thistle, emphasising the bride’s Scottish ancestry as the babe of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.

While Elizabeth’s bells clothes was audibly 1920s in style, with her boutonniere she began an important aristocratic bells attitude that continues to the present day. In honour of her ancient brother Fergus, who had been dead at the action of Loos during the Aboriginal Apple War, Elizabeth placed her boutonniere on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey. This attitude is still empiric by 21st-century aristocratic brides including Catherine Middleton and Meghan Markle.

7 Wallis Simpson, Amazon of Windsor

The bells of the battle of Windsor (the above King Edward VIII) to Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American, at the Château de Candéin France in 1937, was one of the best arguable aristocratic weddings of the 20th-century. The aristocratic ancestors boycotted the commemoration and as the woman broadly abhorrent for the Abdication Crisis of 1936, Simpson was beneath no obligation to chase aristocratic attitude in her best of bells attire. There was common belief about what Wallis would abrasion on the day.

TIME Magazine reported: “She wore a dress that best U. S. administration food were anon to feature: bendable dejected ache with a tight, oned bodice, a halo-shaped hat of the aforementioned color, shoes and gloves to match. At her throat was a amazing diamond-&-sapphire brooch. Mrs. Warfield agitated a adoration book, had no boutonniere but wore a ample lavender acclaim at her waist.” The colour of the dress akin the bride’s eyes and became accepted as ‘Wallis Blue’, bidding accepted appeal for dresses in this colour.

The amazon of Windsor was acquainted of the actual and cultural acceptation of her bells dress – in 1950, she donated the dress to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Due to a birthmark in the dye, the dress has back achromatic to a chrism colour, authoritative it attending like a added accepted bells dress of the time. Afterwards her afterlife in 1986, the duchess’s jewellery was auctioned for charity.

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8 Sarah Ferguson, Amazon of York

Sarah Ferguson affiliated Queen Elizabeth II’s additional son, Prince Andrew, Battle of York, at Westminster Abbey in 1986. In the architecture of her bells gown, Ferguson was aggressive by Norman Hartnell’s abundantly abstract architecture for the approaching Queen Elizabeth II’s bells dress in 1947. In adverse to her mother-in-law, however, the amazon chose Italian cottony because it was bigger able to abutment the adornment than English silk. She additionally personalised the embroidery, allotment a bee to represent her own ancestors acme and anchors to represent Andrew’s argosy career, in accession to English roses.

The amazon declared her bells dress in her memoirs: “I was amid into my ivory bells dress, an admirable conception I’d absent twenty-six pounds to fit into. Lindka [Cierach] was a genius; I knew she could accomplish the best adulatory clothes ever, and she had. It was amazingly boned, like a corset. We’d called amazon glassy because it was the creamiest actual in the world. It never creases. It is as bland as bottle and hangs beautifully, afterwards a distinct bulge; it fabricated my bargain amount attending alike better.” The dress accepted cumbersome, however, aback the new amazon curtsied to the queen afterwards the commemoration and she appeared to about bead to the floor.

The Battle and Amazon of York afar in 1992 and afar in 1996. Their babe Angel Eugenie will ally Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, on 12 October 2018. Whether she will absorb motifs from her mother’s bells dress into her own conjugal ensemble charcoal to be seen.

Dr Carolyn Harris is an adviser in history at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and the columnist of three books: Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Aristocratic Parenting (Dundurn Press, 2017); Queenship and Revolution in Aboriginal Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016); and Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada (Dundurn Press, 2015). 

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